There was a time, in the not too distant past, when I embraced my hardy New England roots and looked forward to each and every season… a time when I couldn’t imagine why a true Bostonian would even consider moving south for the winter to become a “Snow Bird”… a time when my attitude was a resounding Yay! Snowmageddon! with the fall of the first flake…
That time is officially over.
In and of itself, a storm dumping sixteen inches of snow (in 12 hours), leaving sustained winds of 45 mph, and a bone chilling factor of 25 degrees below 0° would be enough to stall even the hardiest of us northerners. But, throw in a town-wide parking ban, a broken snow blower, a 10-day coughing virus, a shoulder injury, a 91 year old mother snowed into her apartment next door, a daughter (living above said mother) recuperating from foot surgery, another home-from-college child nursing her very own virus, and a husband who leaves tomorrow for a week long business trip, … and things feel a little less than manageable.
And, forecasters gleefully predict more of the same for at least a week. Ya-effing-hoo.
Not only can I imagine living in Florida for the winter these days, I yearn for it. The very idea of waking up (with no responsibilities to, or for, anyone), donning my bikini (ok –maybe a one-piece this year…), exiting my maintenance-free condominium, and sauntering across the street to a white sand beach with a snack bar, feels like pure (well-deserved), heaven.
My change in attitude about all things warm and southerly, is one of the clear signs that I am aging. When my own (very hardy New England) parents built a house in Florida in their late 50s, I felt like they were quitters… like they’d thrown in the towel… conceded to age… turned coats so to speak… like they’d betrayed their very heritage.
But, I get it now. Why would any sane person chose to subject themselves (or their family) to subzero temperatures, power outages, ice storms, downed power lines, falling trees and snow days? The logic now eludes me.
Ironically, my favorite TV shows are those focusing on survival (real or reality) in the harsh wilderness… shows depicting men and women co-existing with brutal Mother Nature… humans roaming free-range near the Arctic Circle… sourcing their own food and making their own soap (and booze…)…hunting, trapping, fishing and killing whatever they eat… true Survivalists with no threat or fear of PETA.
The biggest difference between these actors people and me is that they have chosen this particular lifestyle, and I have not. I am an unwilling participant in Massachusetts’ blizzard “events”… an innocent bystander, subject to meteorological abuse roughly 3 months a year.
The Survivalists are prepared. They’ve honed their skills and are qualified to live in and enjoy the elements. They know how to build and fix things (like broken snowblowers). They can turn disasters into doable daytime TV. They live in isolated cabins but have all the necessary gear to thrive in their subzero lifestyle. And, on the Discovery Channel, I imagine they get paid to do it all.
My personal Snowmageddon reality has a decidedly different look. I can’t (and don’t) hunt, trap or fish… hell, I can’t even shop now given the grocery stores are closed… I can’t repair my broken snow blower, because I lack the ingenuity to fashion repair parts out of ordinary household items… I can’t feed my mother or daughter next door, because of the 5 foot impeding snow wall (did I mention the broken snow blower?)… and I can’t make my own soap or booze.
No… I am definitely not a Survivalist, and apparently, I have become a mere shadow of my old New England self.
There are approximately 70 days left until the official start of spring. This morning’s supply check showed enough oil and food to get me through the weekend, at which time, I can replenish. Professional weather watchers warn that this storm (now dubbed “Grayson” for some reason…) is a harbinger of things to come for the winter of 2018.
With that in mind, priority #1 will be to have the snow blower repaired… followed by priority #2 which is booking a one way trip to Florida.